Combination stones like these are not a mineral, but rather a rock. An easy way to understand the difference is that rocks are like cookies and minerals are ingredients such as flour or sugar. Many different minerals are used to create a rock! Usually there are two minerals that stand out in sharp contrast with one another, such as orange and blue. The stone is usually called by the two mineral names, such as Sunstone Iolite. But sometimes it will be given a fancy marketing name like Sunset Sodalite, which combines orange Sunstone with blue Sodalite.
Combination stones like these are typically formed in igneous rocks when two associate minerals are growing at the same time in a close proximity, eventually fusing together.
Where are combination stones mined?
Combination stones can be found in every mine, usually in the primary deposit. The miners are trying to get the most pure minerals out, with the rest ending up in slag piles. Occasionally miners have noticed that the pure mineral is mixed with another stone that looks quite pretty when polished. These combination stones give miners another way to make money and reduce waste.
Are combination stones real?
These are natural minerals that have fused together. They are fully natural, but won’t be listed in any geology book. Generally speaking whichever mineral is the largest or the most valuable is considered to be the dominate mineral, while the smaller or cheaper mineral is considered a secondary associate.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.